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Peace and Good Order

The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada
Written by: Harold R. Johnson
Narrated by: Craig Lauzon
Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An urgent, informed, intimate condemnation of the Canadian state and its failure to deliver justice to Indigenous people by national best-selling author and former Crown prosecutor Harold R. Johnson.

"The night of the decision in the Gerald Stanley trial for the murder of Colten Boushie, I received a text message from a retired provincial court judge. He was feeling ashamed for his time in a system that was so badly tilted. I too feel this way about my time as both defence counsel and as a Crown prosecutor; that I didn't have the courage to stand up in the court room and shout 'Enough is enough.' This book is my act of taking responsibility for what I did, for my actions and inactions." (Harold R. Johnson)

In early 2018, the failures of Canada's justice system were sharply and painfully revealed in the verdicts issued in the deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. The outrage and confusion that followed those verdicts inspired former Crown prosecutor and bestselling author Harold R. Johnson to make the case against Canada for its failure to fulfill its duty under Treaty to effectively deliver justice to Indigenous people, worsening the situation and ensuring long-term damage to Indigenous communities.  

In this direct, concise, and essential volume, Harold R. Johnson examines the justice system's failures to deliver "peace and good order" to Indigenous people. He explores the part that he understands himself to have played in that mismanagement, drawing on insights he has gained from the experience; insights into the roots and immediate effects of how the justice system has failed Indigenous people, in all the communities in which they live; and insights into the struggle for peace and good order for Indigenous people now.

©2019 Harold R. Johnson (P)2019 McClelland & Stewart

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Book for these Times

What an interesting and timely book. I’m surprised there wasn’t more buzz about it. It was actually probably published just a bit too early, as, while it was published as a book about Indigenous rights, it also has implications for BLM. As a non-Indigenous Canadian, I learned more about Canadian history, particularly around what was and wasn’t included in some treaties. The book is very focussed on solutions and action, which is very exciting. The most advanced research on trauma, intergenerational trauma and justice all comes together in this book. The discussion on alcohol is also linked and was eye-opening. As Gabor Mate writes, don’t ask why people are addicted, ask where the pain that they need to forget via their addictions comes from (of course, he says it much more eloquently). There is so much good info in here for the Canadian justice system and also, like I mentioned above, for the BLM movement. And, like all good books, I also learned something (or reinforced an idea) about parenting: punishment rarely serves a purpose and in fact, can cause irreparable harm. Instead, teaching as well as enabling people to redeem themselves makes for much healthier people and communities.

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Very informative and eye opening

This book touches on a little bit of everything as to why the justice system in Canada is failing its indigenous population. This book will open your eyes and minds on the subject of indigenous justice.

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Truth telling

Thank you, Harold, for sharing your story and the wisdom you have gleaned from your perspective. This "truth telling" is a must read for those involved in our justice system. It's eloquent treatise describing a better way, a way that belongs to this place.

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Essential reading

This is essential reading for anyone working in the criminal justice field in Canada. Essential reading for anyone considering judicial reform in Canada. It really should be essential reading for any high school Canadian history class and essential reading for any University Indigenous studies course. A very important, well thought out, and simply written book.